One popular misconception about shaving is that it makes the shaved hair grow back faster, thicker, and darker. This has been debunked several times, with studies confirming that said method doesn’t affect the color, thickness, or rate of regrowth. Still, the myth persists and deters people from shaving certain areas of the body.
The above claims about shaving have been disproved, but it does make the hair feel like it is growing faster, thicker, or darker. What gives this perception? And why does hair grow back more quickly in certain areas of the body after shaving? Continue reading as we answer these questions and explore what happens to hair after shaving.
Hair feels like it is growing faster
Your genetics determine the color, texture, and regrowth of your hair. This is the reason why some people have more or thicker hair than others and why some people need to shave more often than those with lighter, finer body hair. Shaving, furthermore, does not remove hair beneath the skin (like light-based procedures), so it does nothing about its color, thickness, or regrowth
It is also worth noting that hairs on different areas of the body grow at various rates or have different growth cycles. The hair on your armpit, for instance, has a faster growth rate than those on your legs. And since shaving gives you silky, smooth and hair-free free skin for a while, the regrowth in the area might feel noticeable.
Hair feels like it is thicker and darker
While it may seem like your hair is thicker after shaving, it really isn’t. What happens is the blade of the razor cuts the hair away from the skin’s surface, but doesn’t entirely remove it. As shaving only removes a portion of it, the hair’s tip will now have a blunter edge. This is the complete opposite of unshaven hair, which has a softer and tapered tip.
When the shaved hair starts to grow or rise above the skin surface, it may look and feel thicker because of the blunt tip. This can also make the hair feel coarse or look noticeable as it grows out. Another reason it appears darker or thicker is the new regrowth hasn’t been exposed to water, soap, sunlight, sweat, and skincare products.
Other factors can also stimulate darker or thicker hair regrowth, like hormonal fluctuations, medications (side effects), or underlying medical conditions. Talk to your physician if you notice an increase in your facial or body hair.
Shaving has its downsides
Shaving, when done the right way, is painless and effective. There are, however, downsides to this method, particularly if you shave with a dull or rusty blade or press the razor hard against your skin. Some of the side effects include:
- Cuts or nicks
- Razor burn
- Ingrown hairs
- Inflamed follicles
- Pimples or irritation
- Dark spots due to repeated razor use
There is also this belief that shaving is cheaper than other methods or when compared to waxing or laser hair removal. It does seem affordable initially, but it isn’t cost-effective in the long run.
As shaving has short-lived results, you will need to do it almost regularly and buy new razors, creams, and other products continuously. The total cost adds up, making it not as efficient as those that can provide long-term effects but only require a few sessions.
Consider laser hair removal
Shaving may be fast, easy, and convenient, but its short-lived results make the method inefficient overall. If you’re looking for something that will give you silky, smooth skin for the long term while also not having to worry about cuts, ingrown hairs, or missing spots, laser hair removal is a good option.
Unlike shaving, light-based procedures target the pigment in the hair and use heat to destroy the follicles. It uses a device or a machine that delivers concentrated light into the follicle without affecting the skin’s surface. This inhibits the hair’s ability to grow, leading to permanent hair reduction.
The method can be used in different areas of the body, including the:
- Arms and underarms
- Bikini area
Just do take note that laser hair removal and similar methods require several sessions to achieve lasting results or permanent hair reduction. There are also instances where the damaged follicles heal, resulting in hair regrowth. But the hairs are finer and lighter because the pigment is removed during the procedure. Maintenance treatments are needed to keep the results and target new hair regrowth.
Further reading: Laser Hair Removal: 5 Reasons Why it is Cost-Effective
Book a consultation
If you’re looking for a hair removal method that lasts longer, consider laser hair reduction. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore to learn more or schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor.